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Overclock/Upgrade help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello I'm Tyr, this looks like a wonderful community and I'm wondering if you guys may be able to help me.

I just recieved an old system (specs are below) and I'm thinking about upgrading it until I get some more money for a crazy system. (I'm an entry level network technician that services small to medium size businesses)

My initial idea was to get this but I did some research and found my mobo doesn't support Prescotts. (I have a socket 478) Well with my Prescott intentions I bought a Zalman fan/heatsync from Microcenter before I looked into my mobo. (on newegg)

So now this is my dilema: My only choice is a Northwood (I could keep the Celeron...ew), but the only one I found is a 2.8Ghz
not that that's bad or anything. I'm just wondering if the 533Mhz bus isnt worth the upgrade, or if I could find a 800Mhz bus? And the other questions I have are: How far do you think I could overclock the Northwood with this heatsink/fan? Is it worth it to keep the heatsink/fan? should I return it?

I did notice that tomasro on the TopOverclocks Excel sheet OC'd his Northwood from 2.8Ghz to 3.8Ghz and I was wondering what kind of cooling system he used, and how close could I get? My next system will be watercooled unless there's a better alternative out there, but for now this one won't be.

Thanks alot to anyone who helps me!!! And I hope I gave enough information
My System
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Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
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Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
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ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
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post #2 of 11
Welcome to the forums.

The first step in assessing your upgrade potential is to go into the BIOS and see what kind of overclocking options your motherboard has to offer. I've used a few Soyo boards that had a good range of options and others that had next to nothing. If you discover settings for CPU speed, RAM timings, PCI and AGP frequencies, and voltages for the CPU, RAM, and possibly the chipset, you're in great shape. If most or all of those are missing, you'll want to invest in a new motherboard. That, unfortunately, would not be good as the S478 enthusiast motherboards are selling now for more than they were when they were top of the line.

Hopefully the mobo will give you what you need. The top of the line 533 MHz CPU is the 3.06 GHz Northwood. Unfortunately, most of the 3.06 GHzers on the market are the mobile version, which does not work well on most desktop boards. The desktop version generally comes at a fair price premium. You could do a lot worse than a 2.8 GHz since you're just looking for a fairly short term upgrade. They definitely have some overclocking potential in the right system.

Do a bit of research into the RAM you have. Many 533 MHz FSB systems came with PC2700 RAM, though some shipped with PC2100. If you're going to really push your system, you'll probably need at least PC3200, though good PC2700 could probably be pushed hard enough to suit your needs. PC2100 would likely limit you severely.

Finally, take a look at your PSU, particularly how many amps are on the 12 volt rail. If that number is low (below 20 or so), you'll want to get a new PSU. On the bright side, you could get a good PSU that you can carry forward into your next build.

I hope that helps to get you going. Please feel free to post back with any additional questions you have along the way.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well we have some not so good news... All of the options I found were either Enable or Disable excluding something with the Dram. My RAM is PC2700 and PC3200(compatible with 2700). My system is capable of 800MHz FSB not 533MHz. And I'm unsure of how to find the amps on the 12 volt rail....

I think that covers it. From the looks of it, I guess I should just go with the Northwood 2.8GHz on Newegg. Do you think that would perform well enough? Should I still install the new heatsink/fan I just got?

Oh and what about applications that OC your system; I know they're risky, but could they work?


EDIT: Just thought of something. I believe at MicroCenter they may have had a 3.06 GHz Northwood, not sure though. I can check tomorrow.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
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post #4 of 11
For the PSU, there should be a label directly on it listing the various rails and their amperages.

It's difficult to know if a 2.8 GHz will perform to your needs without knowing what you're hoping to get out of it. It should play most games with modest settings and will handle most applications reasonably well. It will by no means be a lightning fast system, but it won't be a slouch either. I would suggest that you check out the used market before you buy the CPU new. You might be able to save as much as 50% over the new price if you catch a good deal.
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2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here's a pic of my Advanced Bios Screens.

With my current video card I can run Doom 3 in high settings, however my Celeron is the problem. I need somthing that can atleast somewhat keep up. I also hope that this Northwood will speed up some video-editing projects I'm working on.

What do you think a good deal would be for one of these processors? How much more would you guess a 3.06GHz would be than a 2.8GHz or is it even worth it? Will the performance be that noticable?

And do you think I should keep the fan/heatsink? or do you think the stock will be fine?

Sorry for all of the questions, but you've been a great help!!

Thanks again.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 11
It looks like you have a fair amount of overclocking options. You should be able to squeeze some extra power out of whatever CPU you put in there.

The last time I looked at the desktop version of the 3.06 GHz Northy, it was pushing $200 since it was the top of the line for it's generation. You're much better off going with the 2.8 you're looking at. The price tag at Newegg isn't too bad, but you may find one for $40 or so if you hunt around. The savings might not be worth the delay that may result from hunting for a better deal, though.

If you can indeed overclock with that board, which does look favorable, it will put your Celly to shame. Before you invest in a new CPU, though, you ought to try to overclock your Celly to get a better feel for the capabilities of the board and other components.

When overclocking, the stock heatsink/fan rarely allows you to go very far. You'll want to keep a Northwood safely below 55°C, and an aftermarket cooler goes a long way towards that. You can always try the stock one before installing the aftermarket one. If by chance the stock does the trick, you can always return the other one unused.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
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2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
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(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm confused.... those options in my Bios didn't look to promising to me... The only options were Enable/Disable.

Can you elaborate on how I might OC with my board?

Thanks again!
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
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post #8 of 11
The screen to the upper right in your attachment gives you a fair amount of control over your RAM. You can control the stock speed of it as well as the timings. I'm assuming you get some other menus when you select any of the first three options on the upper left screen. Those appear to have the potential to control many of the other important functions of the system.
Sig rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX620 Lian Li V2000b Logitech G7 
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(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
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Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX620 Lian Li V2000b Logitech G7 
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
The first three items on the top left screen, are the 3 other screens. I have no idea on how I can change my FSB, it seems to be locked. Hmmm
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron 2.4 Ghz Soyo P4VTP Radeon x1600 Pro AGP 512 1GB DDR-SDRAM 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Windows XP Pro SP2 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF Microsoft 
PowerCaseMouse
ATX 12V 350W Soyo GE Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 11
What other options do you have in the BIOS other than the advanced tab?
Sig rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX620 Lian Li V2000b Logitech G7 
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Sig rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 23A Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi HD 3870 2x2 GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x250 GB Seagate RAID 0 + 320 GB Seagate Samsung SATA DVD Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 64 bit Viewsonic VA2012wb 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX620 Lian Li V2000b Logitech G7 
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